DEA raid on Mendocino medicinal collective

Posted on July 13th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

A multi-agency federal task force on July 7 descended on the property of Joy Greenfield of Covelo, the first Mendocino County patient to pay the $1,050 application fee under the county medical marijuana ordinance, which allows collectives to grow up to 99 plants provided they comply with regulations. Greenfield had applied in the name of her collective, Light The Way, which opened in San Diego earlier this year.

Her property had passed a preliminary inspection by the Mendocino sheriff’s deputies shortly before the raid, and she had bought the sheriff’s “zip-ties” intended to designate her cannabis plants as legal.

The agents invaded her property with guns drawn, uprooted the collective’s 99 plants and confiscated Greenfield’s computer and cash. Joy was not at home at the time of the raid, but spoke on the phone to the DEA agent in charge. When she told he she was a legal grower under the sheriff’s program, the agent reportedly replied, “I don’t care what the sheriff says.”

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman confirmed that the property owner had the proper paperwork and the cannabis was legal in the eyes of the county. “This was a federal operation and had nothing to do with local law enforcement,” Allman said. “The federal government made a decision to go ahead and eradicate it.”

Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, said, “This raid is clear evidence that the DEA is out of control." (Emerald Triangle News, July 12; Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, July 9)

While officially at odds with the feds over medicinal cannabis, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office continues to cooperate with the DEA in their joint program to instruct law enforcement agencies from across the nation in how to spot cannabis gardens from the air.

"It started as a week-long program and ballooned out," said Lt. James "Rusty" Noe, who designed the program with a DEA special agent. Participants are given initial training and sent out in the field to spot on their own. (Ukiah Daily Journal, July 6)

County officials last month also admitted to joint investigations with the DEA that they say they can't talk about. "They haven't given us anything we can release," Sheriff Tom Allman said, but admitted the DEA had issued 16 warrants statewide throughout the week, all of them part of one investigation.

Three warrants were issued in Mendocino County in late June, at homes in Boonville, Ukiah and Redwood Valley. Allman said the DEA wasn't involved in those incidents. The County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET) arrested five men and authorities seized more than 1,100 plants (both indoor and outdoor), firearms and about $35,000 in cash. (Ukiah Daily Journal, June 30)



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